By Mortz C. Ortigoza
While attending the other day my libel case hearing at the Regional Trial Court in Dagupan City, I could not prevent to shake my head with a mixed of consternation and amusement seeing yellow clad inmates of the Bureau of Jail, Management & Penology handcuffed and herded to their special pews inside the court. Almost all of them were charged with possession or selling of the illegal drugs. Selling of the illegal drug in the Philippines, despite its number of gram, is a non-bailable crime if one is apprehended by peace officers.
Since we were not allowed to talk lest we would be chided by the judge, I used a sign language, to ask them their crimes, by mimicking somebody who stabbed (my hand swung a knife to someone), robbed somebody (my hand opening a door knob with a key), pounded for several times on the chair my right index finger where a man raped a woman, or sell illegal drug’s shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride (I opened my right palm and threw something). All of them reciprocated by opening their palm and threw something mimicking a shabu. It means, son of a gun, these putative culprits implied that they were charged in selling of the illegal drugs
It seemed the dreaded Dagupan Death Squad (DDS), that killed countless habitual delinquents in the past, struck again at 1 Pm of June 24 by shooting Maximo Aspric, an ex convict and notorious robber, when he was disembarking in a motorized tricycle at Barangay Malued in the city.
“A white legal sized bond paper with writing’s “Huwag ako tularan, tulak (shabu pusher), Snatcher ako – DDS, was found near his body,” a police text message said.
It was more than a year ago or two that a “recidivist” akyat bahay (burglar) in the same village was waylaid in the wee hour and was seen with a similar bond paper warning the public not to emulate his nefarious activities.
According to my source that has an alleged contact with the DDS, the group on their selective extra judicial killings missed only Rewel S. Bugayong alias “Kamote”, a habitual delinquent in Barangay Tapuac, Dagupan City.
A legal size bond paper with a warning was found too in the place where he was shot by two assassins wearing baseball caps while he was playing cards .
“Doon lang daw sila pumalpak kay Kamote,” he told me.
Here’s my report on that incident a day after he was shot :” Bugayong, a notorious robber whose mugging and house looting activities gave headaches to village officials and police for years, was confined at the intensive care unit of the Region I Medical Center, with a bullet ensconced at his jaw after alleged members of a death squad attempted to kill him on the night of May 20.
The same resident said he suspected that the hit man was part of a group that was behind the series of extra judicial killings of illegal drug pushers and robbers whose hog tied bodies pumped with bullets or with stab wounds were dumped like garbage along the national highways here.
The source said one of the two assassins surreptitiously went behind Bugayong and shot him three times but only one of the bullets hit him on the nape and penetrated his jaw”
Bugayong was also one the suspects in the failed assassination attempt of Tapuac village chieftain Jake Ignacio Reyes Jr who was hit on his body by a volley of .38 bullets.
After that attempt Kamote absconded to Angeles City to spare his life from the DDS that was hell bent to “neutralize” him.
But in his new found city he could not get rid of his itch to mug. He tried to rob a car. “When he was inside the car he could not rev the engine that was when the police collared him and threw him at the calaboose there, another source told me.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at email@example.com)